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Amazon's Kindle Scribe drops to $295 with its first discount

Various configurations of the note-taking e-reader are $45 to $60 off.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

If you've been looking to grab Amazon's Kindle Scribe but didn't want to jump in at full price, the company has rolled out the first set of discounts on its new top-end e-reader with note-taking support. Depending on which configuration you want, the deals take $45 to $60 off the device's typical going rate. This brings the base model with 16GB of storage and Amazon's "Basic Pen" stylus down to $295 from its usual $340. Adding the company's "Premium Pen" — which includes a dedicated shortcut button and eraser function — brings that up to $320, while higher-capacity models with 32GB and 64GB of storage (which come with the Premium Pen as standard) are on sale for $335 and $360, respectively. The offers include four months of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited e-book service, too, but note that the subscription will be set to auto-renew by default. These prices are also available at Best Buy.

Amazon unveiled the Kindle Scribe late last year, and we gave it a review score of 85 this past November. It's still far from cheap even with these discounts, but its big hook is that it's the only Kindle with note-taking support through the included stylus. You can add notes to e-books or PDFs, create to-do lists or doodle sketches, and we generally found the experience to feel smooth and natural. There's no handwriting-to-text functionality, annoyingly, and the process of editing and syncing your notes on other devices is limited. Digital artists are better off with an iPad and Apple Pencil, too. But for simple note-taking while reading, it's good.

While there are other e-ink devices that can work better as a writing tool — and others on the way — the Scribe has the benefit of also being a high-end Kindle. It is by far the largest of Amazon's e-readers, but its 10.2-inch display is roomy and bright, with more LEDs used in its front light than other Kindle models and the ability to tweak the display's color temperature. There's a large border on one side to make one-handed use easier, and Amazon rates the battery life at up to 12 weeks (though that'll vary depending on how much writing you do). The big disappointment is that the Scribe isn't waterproof like the cheaper Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis. It also lacks the latter's dedicated page turn buttons.

Most people in need of an e-reader should still opt for the Paperwhite or the recently refreshed entry-level model, both of which are smaller and offer far more value for money. But for those willing to pay for a larger screen and note-taking support, we found the Scribe to be satisfying, and these discounts lower the premium at least a little bit.

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